Similarities I find with Mapex and Tama.

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wy yung

Guest
I have spent a great deal of time dealing with major brand ply drums over the years. Ludwig, Pearl, Tama, Sonor etc. My choice is Sonor, when it comes to ply drums. At least on the surface. I am fully into other drums wiping the floor with that 1sr choice. Which makes me doubt having any choice at all.

I have a friend who personally makes me stave drums made from indiginous Australian woods. Every single hand made shell is superior in every way to the major ply brands. I have had the craftsman show me just how much glue he used compared to ply kits.

Bottom line is that all the high end ply kits are at a similar level.

But they aren't hand made works of art. They cannot be and nor do they try.
 

keep it simple

Platinum Member
I'm not even a Pearl fan, but they make some of the highest quality shells and edges in the industry and have done for many years.
Most unfortunately, my personal experience doesn't support this. The bearing edges on my son's Vision are a joke. It's been literally decades since I've seen bearing edges cut so badly. Regrettably, it was some considerable period of time before I got to see the kit, otherwise it would have gone straight back. Two of the toms are pretty much beyond tuning. There's other quality issues with the kit too. I know of at least two drummers of high calibre who've had to return high end Pearl's for bearing edge problems. They may know how to get it right, but that doesn't mean they always do. All of this said, I also know of 3 drummers who've had to return DW drums for significant quality issues too, including bearing edges. I guess it's the luck of the draw, & sometimes it goes tits up.
 
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mediocrefunkybeat

Guest
Most unfortunately, my personal experience doesn't support this. The bearing edges on my son's Vision are a joke. It's been literally decades since I've seen bearing edges cut so badly. Regrettably, it was some considerable period of time before I got to see the kit, otherwise it would have gone straight back. Two of the toms are pretty much beyond tuning. There's other quality issues with the kit too. I know of at least two drummers of high calibre who've had to return high end Pearl's for bearing edge problems. They may know how to get it right, but that doesn't mean they always do. All of this said, I also know of 3 drummers who've had to return DW drums for significant quality issues too, including bearing edges. I guess it's the luck of the draw, & sometimes it goes tits up.
Visions? Well, that is more believable to be honest. I'm surprised, but it doesn't 'shock' me. I have to say though, that my 80's Export is surprisingly well built (apart from some minor ply separation on the 16") and the hardware - although not to my liking - has lasted very well. I use the old single-braced stands regularly. These things can change over time - but I hear about far fewer issues with Pearls than I do Ludwig and PDP.

A Masters kit though is something all together different. That shouldn't leave the factory floor with any significant defects - certainly not as described in this thread and if the issue was that bad, being a studio kit, it certainly should have been returned.

Bad kits happen to every company, my ply (read: cheap) Tamburo doesn't have amazing edges for instance (they're fine, but not great), but I still maintain that Pearl - especially with their higher lines - have high standards. They simply have to in order to compete. It's also true that every Pearl kit I've seen has had a decent minimum standard of care put into its manufacture - even the cheaper stuff - but some kits do slip through. Besides, the original poster has already admitted defeat on this one.

Now. Guru would never have any issues. I'm still thinking about those kits. It hurts!
 

keep it simple

Platinum Member
Now. Guru would never have any issues. I'm still thinking about those kits. It hurts!
Ha, yes, but of couse, you can't compare. Even though the prices are similar to Pearl high end, the manufacturing environment is totally different. Dean micro inspects every detail of every part of every drum. Just not practical in a big manufacturing environment.

As for your exports, I have to agree. Must be one of the best budget lines ever. Never seen a bad one, & superb value for money. For the price, without peers in their day. The Visions however, are a bit on the nasty side. But I do have issues with some of the high end Pearl stuff too. I don't expect to see chunky ply overlaps on the inside of the shell. I've seen that on many examples in stores. Same goes for wrap overlaps, not good enough at that price point.
 
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mediocrefunkybeat

Guest
Ha, yes, but of couse, you can't compare. Even though the prices are similar to Pearl high end, the manufacturing environment is totally different. Dean micro inspects every detail of every part of every drum. Just not practical in a big manufacturing environment.

As for your exports, I have to agree. Must be one of the best budget lines ever. Never seen a bad one, & superb value for money. For the price, without peers in their day. The Visions however, are a bit on the nasty side. But I do have issues with some of the high end Pearl stuff too. I don't expect to see chunky ply overlaps on the inside of the shell. I've seen that on many examples in stores. Same goes for wrap overlaps, not good enough at that price point.
Yeah, it's not a 'fair' comparison, agreed. As for the 'Pearl Issues' I'll have to have a better look around the next time I see a new Pearl kit.
 
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